Last Dance at Dum Dum is a play about the gradually diminishing generation of Anglo-Indians living in Calcutta. Set in early 80s, this is a serious comedy about a vividly memorable gang of eccentrics and exotics who are attempting to come to terms with their pasts and their fears for the future. Their world is filled with Violet’s hilarious obsession with all things British, Elliot’s questionable dress sense, Daphne’s weakness for French records and the confrontational outbursts of Muriel Marsh who in spite of her ill health would do anything to defend their territory against the Hindu fundamentalists looming just behind the garden wall.
Ayub Khan-Din is a British Pakistani playwright. After the huge success of his first play, East is East, Khan-Din followed with Last Dance at Dum Dum in 1999. Last Dance at Dum Dum exudes the flavour of the Anglo-Indian lifestyle and is set in an old colonial bungalow, the eponymous Dum Dum, in the early 1980’s.The characters are unique and colourful and each scene is packed with subtle humour. On one hand this play entertains its viewers; on the other hand it reveals the hard hitting reality of discrimination and raises questions about humanity versus religious extremism.
Lenore Robertson is the inaugural festival director of Short+Sweet Voices. For Epicentre Theatre Company, she has directed Daylight Saving, Harbour, Money and Friends and Midnite. For Nautanki Theatre Company, she previously directed the première performance of Indian Embrace. She was recently Associate Producer on I Am My Own Wife (Old Fitz).
Nautanki Theatre focuses on producing plays with a cross-cultural plot that has connections to the Indian subcontinent. The crisis of people being uprooted from their lands either by compelling circumstances or to fulfil human interests is as topical today as was in early 80’s when the remaining population of Anglo-Indians migrated from India to UK, Australia and rest of the world either in search of better life or forced by circumstances. The people left behind were the older and weaker generation who had to face discrimination and danger of losing what little belonged to them.